Cover photo for Marlene R. Willard's Obituary
Marlene R. Willard Profile Photo

Marlene R. Willard

August 9, 1935 — January 29, 2021

Marlene R. Willard

Marlene passed away peacefully at home on January 29, 2021 with her family by her side. She was born on August 9th, 1935 to Harry and Esther Pierson. Being one of 6 children and many cousins, she grew up surrounded with laughter. She learned to sew as a child and enjoyed participating in her mother's sewing club, The Stichers, until it stopped meeting in the 90's. She was a gifted creator, using her sewing and crafting to enrich the lives of her family and friends. Whether it was home décor, clothing, doll houses, school play costumes, family quilts, baptism gowns or embroidery, her loving made items will be with her family for years to come.
Her greatest memories were always time spent with her family. After marrying her High School sweetheart, Herb, in 1953 they went on to have three children, Randy, Sue, and Shari. They spent their childhood surrounded by love, camping at Glennie, participating in church and school events at Mt. Olive Lutheran and visiting their numerous relatives.
The first of 8 grandchildren came in 1977 and she thrived in the roll of grandmother, eventually taking on the name of Sweet Granny. Her grandchildren knew that while she was sweet, she was also strong, demonstrating daily how to be a beloved family matriarch and was the glue that held her family together. She had a song for every situation and many family babies have fallen asleep to her lullabies over the years. Even towards the end music continued to connect her to her growing family. Her great-grandchildren loved having concerts and sing-alongs with Sweet Granny.
Her love of celebrating and gathering with family and friends was demonstrated frequently over the years. During holidays, birthdays, Red Hat events, and family reunions, her loved ones always knew they could count on her to host an amazing party, she loved bringing people together for laughter, joy, and good food. Her giving nature will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Esther (Worden) Pierson, her brothers Harold, Hayden, Howard, and Rick Pierson and her sister Elaine Lynch, with whom she was especially close. She is survived by her loving husband of 67 years, Herbert, her three children Randy (Sherri) Willard, Sue (Dell) Thompson, Shari (Dennis) VanPelt. Her grandchildren Sarah (Dan) Keeler, Ryan (Dana) VanPelt, Aaron Willard, Jeff Thompson, Rebekah Willard, Ben Thompson, Nick (Amanda) Thompson, and Deni VanPelt. Her great-grandchildren, Sam, Gabe, Cecilia and Levi Keeler and Kaiden, Kamden, Kinzee, and Krew Thompson. A sister-in-law, Linda Pierson, and many nieces and nephews.
The Family would like to thank all her caregivers, especially the staff of McLaren Hospice. If you would like to make a memorial a donation can be given to Mt Olive Lutheran Church, where Marlene spent much of her time.
Marlene was a blessing to all who knew her.
Funeral and Committal service will take place on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Olive Ev. Lutheran Church. Officiating will be Pastor Zach Steinke with private interment in Floral Gardens Cemetery. Friends may visit at the Gephart Funeral Home on Tuesday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Mrs. Willard will be taken to the church to lie in state on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Contributions may be made to Mt. Olive Ev. Lutheran Church. For online condolences visit www.gephartfuneralhome.com
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marlene R. Willard, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree